Sunday, December 18, 2011

Occupying Advent



"Advent is an active waiting. And Christmas comes to those who wait for the whisper, who look for the little, who seek the small, scandalous signs of the every-where presence of God."     
--from A Holy Experience blog--

Saturday, December 10, 2011

At 3 months, Joel...

* is 14 lbs 11.5 oz and 25.5 inches long.
* has discovered his hands.  He will fold his hands together while nursing, sitting in his car seat, or as he's talking.
* likes to suck on his hands or nuzzle his face into the muslin blankets while falling asleep.  We often find the soother in the corner of his cradle.
* is wanting to keep up the conversation and story telling just like his cousin Zoey!  Joel has also discovered his voice.  It is the most delightful thing I have heard in a long time!
* is beginning to reach for things...the toys in his chair, the birds on his swing, or the food at the supper table.
* has found a sleeping rhythm and we are so thankful!  Joel hasn't been a fussy baby, except for a week in his first month where gripe water was our friend, but we were ready for a 8 hour stretch of sleep instead of getting 8 hours in chunks :).  
* has a passport.  Bring on the winter travels!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

All You Need for A Snowman...

* is a warm morning with temperatures above zero, a grinning girl excited to be outside, a carrot for the nose, stones from the back alley, and a toque and scarf from the mitten basket.  So much fun! *  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

At 2 months, Joel...

* weighs 13 lbs 11.5 oz and is 24.5 inches long.  A growing baby boy!  The newborn sleepers and 0-3 month clothing are packed away.
* is squeezable and loveable.  His double chin, rolls, and folds are delightful! 
* likes to lay on a blanket on the floor so he can stretch and kick.  His right leg just gives 'er.
* is content to take in the world around him.
* will hold his arms straight up or out in a superhero pose when he's being changed.
* graduated from the infant tub to the big tub as he quickly stretched out from end to end.
* gives us many smiles and laughs daily.  His whole face lights up!  
* has begun to have long conversations and tell his stories. 
* is incredibly strong.  He can hold his neck and head steady.
* celebrated his first holidays...Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day.
* is alert and beginning to follow our voices and where we are in the room, especially keeping his eye on his busy sister and Mama.
* loves to be comforted by being wrapped up and swaddled over a soother.  
* has a calm and content temperament.  We are incredibly blessed!

Pieces of You

* Had technical difficulties so I'm posting reflections from the 1st month today as well.

Dear Joel,

1. After one month, you weigh 12 lbs 4 1/2 oz and measure 22.5 inches long.

2. At your 5 day and 8 day check up, you blew the health care nurses and Dr. B away.  You are thriving!

3. Both sets of grandparents were here for your arrival and were able to stay for the beginning days at home.  What a blessing!

4. You were welcomed by many friends and family, near and far, with phone calls, emails, meals, gifts, and packages in the mail.

5. You did not stay in the "newborn" onesies, sleepers, and diapers for much time.

6. Your first smile was the Monday Daddy went back to work and we flew solo at home.  Thank you!

7. You aren't keen on the soother.  If we put it in too quickly you start to gag.

8. Being swaddled and falling asleep on Mommy or Daddy's chest is what you prefer and we are okay with that!

9. You are such a content boy.

10. In the hospital, you let me know that you needed something to eat by smacking your lips.

11. At home, we mostly hear grunts if you are not content and only cries if you are really hungry, on the tired side of things, or have a bit of tummy troubles.

12. Your big 'ister Ellie is quite fascinated with you.

13. Ellie asks to hold you every day and wants to be near you as she plays. 

14. In the morning, or after sleeps, she greets you with, "You're awake.  Good morning!"  If she hears you cry, she'll come to where you are and say, "It's okay my boy.  Ellie's here!" 

15. At the end of September, you took your first road trip to visit great Grandma Ellefson for her birthday as well as visit with some great uncles and aunts too.

16. You are a wonderful little traveler already and don't mind your car seat as long the car or stroller is moving.

17. In didn't take you long to settle into days and nights.  You often give Daddy and I, 3-4 hour stretches at a time.

18. You are a strong boy.  When you are on our chest, you can hold your head and neck steady.

19. You quietly take in what is going on around you...whether you are in someone's arms, in your swing, or on our bed.

20. When I look at your long fingers and little feet, I wonder what you will do when you grow older?  Musician?  Bass player?  Rugby player?  We see lots of pictures of things to come for you, my son. 

21. You are a good eater. 

22. You don't mind coffee...second hand that is...for which your Mama is grateful.

23. Bath times are different for you than they were for Ellie.  You love being in the water!  It won't be long until you are out of the small tub and into the big tub.

24. Whether you are getting your diaper changed or getting ready for the bath, you have not had a true melt down.

25. However, you keep us on our toes when it's time to change your bum. 

26. Depending on the day and the light your eyes will look brown or dark blue-grey.

27. You have a double crown on the top of your head.  We've had people comment that we are "doubly blessed" and we would agree whole-heartedly!

28. These are the pieces of you we remember and love in the last 28 days with you at home!

Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Goodbyes. Yecchh.

This weekend our family gathered together for a meal and to say goodbye to our Dad and Bestefar as he returns to do the work of our Father.  Though we are incredibly grateful for the extra time we had with him, the goodbyes still hurt.  A lot.  Days with airport hellos are just better. 

Thanks Dad for the airplane watching, outside swinging, cradle prepping, grandson snuggling, coffee sipping kind-of-days.  You are already missed but we do look forward to our weekly Skype chats!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Three Year Old's Fairy Tale

Begins with a princess...
..."Daddy, you be the king and Joel be a pumpkin..."
...with a friend as a knight!

Penetrating the Darkness

When I was younger, I remember our family doing a variety of things on Halloween night.  I remember my Dad driving us from acreage to acreage when we lived in the North as it was already too cold and trudging through a few snow banks in our Clown-Around Family costumes would be difficult.  I also remember going to our Baptist Church in Hay River, dressed up as a Biblical character to have fun together with other like minded friends and families.  As we got older and we were often traveling, I remember my Mom and Dad taking us to the local convenience store in the town we were in, giving us a loonie, and then letting us choose the treat we'd like to enjoy.  Halloween night was also a time for our family to go and enjoy a movie together at a theatre so that we weren't at home.

As I remembered this morning what I had done as a child, it was very timely that my Mom sent me some links to my inbox to ponder:

In his book Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster says, "Why allow Halloween to be a pagan holiday in commemoration of the powers of darkness? Fill the house or church with light; sing and celebrate the victory of Christ over darkness."

John Piper's thoughts were also well spoken:

As we embark on this parenting journey, Marco and I ask ourselves how our family will be salt and light.  How about you?  What "traditions" or family boundaries do you have for this day?  In what ways are you filling your house with Light?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How to carve a pumpkin...

 1. Start taking out the goop and seeds from inside.
 2. Ask Daddy, "Did we get it all?"
 3. Maybe have Daddy check while you use your fingers.
 4. Use a spoon as it's really goopy.
 5. Don't forget to reach to the very back.
 6. Stick out your tongue for extra measure.
 7. Watch Daddy do the cutting with a knife and a stencil.
8. Light a candle and smile!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Contemplations from the swing:

When Joel was a few weeks old, a friend generously brought their swing over to our house for us to borrow.  It has been particularly helpful in the afternoon as I begin to prepare supper or in the early evening hours when a little boy tends to be more fussy than content. 

It seems to me there is a lot of growing and thinking happening in this swing.  

Maybe about blue birds...

...but all this thinking makes us sleepy...

...and then it's time for bed right away! 
And E, the big sister, keeps us laughing with her swing dancin' and singin'!  Life is full but it is good.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Three Going On Five

Marco and I sang "Happy Birthday" to Ellie this morning as she crawled into bed next to us.  How fast time goes!  

In El's mind, there are big things happening this year; she's made big plans.  Ellie turns 3 today but lately she has been focused on the number 5.  So, after breakfast, she packed up her lunch box and was waiting for the "lellow school bus come pick me up."  Please don't grow up TOO fast my girl!  My heart isn't ready yet.

This year, we started a few new birthday traditions:

First we made birthday cupcakes, chocolate ones with sprinkles, as Ellie requested.

I made a birthday balloon wreath to celebrate the birthday girl in the house!

And we had pancakes for supper with just our family as Marco and I pictured a birthday party with our extrovert might end up like this birthday.  Grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, grade 6, ANNNNDDDD Kindergarten.  Pancakes are another one of El's favorite suppers!

It was a happy day with lots of favorites celebrating a special girl!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Classroom of Two: Fall Fingerpainting

I found this idea on Pinterest and thought it would be something E would really enjoy doing one morning while J snoozed.  So last Friday, we filled the sink with soapy water, squeezed dollops of Dollar Store paint onto a plastic lid, and went to work. 

She was SO proud of her finished fall tree!  And I realized in a fresh new way why finger painting was always a center in Kindergarten and not a whole class art project :).